In 1990, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave some organisms special status as designated model organisms. This article documents publication trends for these NIH-designated model organisms over the past 40 years. We find that being designated a model organism by the NIH does not guarantee an increasing publication trend. An analysis of model and nonmodel organisms included in GENETICS since 1960 does reveal a sharp decline in the number of publications using nonmodel organisms yet no decline in the overall species diversity. We suggest that organisms with successful publication records tend to share critical characteristics, such as being well developed as standardized, experimental systems and being used by well-organized communities with good networks of exchange and methods of communication.
Dietrich, Michael; Ankeny, Rachel; and Chen, Patrick, "Publication trends in model organism research" (2014). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 5.